This article is classic Shank. The quota of cheap shots has been met (Coach Belichick, starring as Flatline Bill, Robert & Jonathan Kraft, Curt Schiling, natch, and 'you Belichick toadies'), non-football references are made (1980's Celtics), and we are thankfully spared from lame song lyrics from the era when 8-track tapes ruled the land.
On to the highlights, as they were...
Nonetheless, it’s a shocker.
Surprising, maybe, but a shocker? A buddy and I were watching the ESPN announcement on this trade yesterday morning. The first thing he says: "it's doubtful the Pats were going to resign him next year, and at least we get a draft pick out of it. It's Oakland's draft pick, they suck, and Belichick will probably trade down and get two players out of it. It's a smart move."
Also, the average NFL career spans four years. You have 53 active roster spots, so on average you'll have about a fourth of your roster turn over every year. Yet Shank is shocked, shocked! at this trade? Do I detect some faux outrage here just to take shots at the Patriots? Nahhh, that would be too cynical...
More shocking that the retirements of Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi.
Question for Bruce - is this the copy desk's fault?
Patriots fans, ever worshiping at the altar of Hoodie, are stuck with thousands of XXXL No. 93 jerseys.
This, from a scribe who once proclaimed "I write for the fans", now pisses on these same fans. Stay classy, Shank!
Is there any doubt that Bruschi retired because he was told he was going to be cut? Bruschi’s “decision’’ to step down enabled all parties to save facemask.
While that's plausible, I would think a columnist could, you know, make some phone calls and verify this? It's also plausible that Bruschi thought "it's been 13 years, I'm too old for this crap" and called it a career. This lack of inquiry simply allows Shank to take another shot at the Patriots.
The Patriots didn’t come across as thankless meanies, and the classy Bruschi got to leave on his own terms - looking downright senatorial (sorry, Curt).
You knew he was waiting to use that one all week, didn't you? And, somehow, I don't think it's the last one.
Woe is the pundit who questions any Coach Bill decision and, you have to admit, his track record is pretty good.
I wonder if Shank has ever considered the possibility that, on occasion, he has to admit this? This is also classic Shank - when things are good or positive, you'll see references to 'our Red Sox' or some such. When the spleen is being vented, it is now 'you', 'your' or some derivative.
So save some of your applause for Richard Seymour, you Belichick toadies. Seymour was a winner and a class act in our town for eight seasons, and the 2009 Patriots are going to miss him.
We can be thankful there's at least one class act around here, right?